Let’s Ponder Dark Betty And Riverdale’s Gargoyle Problem

by Erik Amaya


We haven’t seen much of Dark Betty this year.

Between the Gargoyle King and her incessant quest to uncover the truth about The Farm, Betty (Lili Reinhart) hasn’t really had the opportunity to switch to her other persona. But this week’s episode makes the case Dark Betty has been here all along. To hear Edgar Evernever (Chad Michael Murray) or Alice (Madchen Amick) tell it, Dark Betty needs to destroy The Farm.

Of course, Cheryl’s (Madelaine Petsch) tearful moment of decision proves The Farm is using classic disconnection techniques employed by cults all over the world. Which means any benefits they seem to offer are couched inside a sinister aim.

At the same time, it would be quite interesting to discover Dark Betty has been trying to corrupt the benevolence of The Farm and its healing properties. That we, the audience, keep seeing the classic cult maneuvers she detects would keep the twist pretty well locked-down until the ultimate moment of revelation. Not that we expect such a thing to happen, mind. The Farm, with its dress code, disconnection ultimatums and encroachment in town does nothing to suggest Edgar is above board. Consider, also, his complete lack of past. That’s sketchy as hell, even if The Farm’s program encourages letting go of past traumas as a means to heal.

Come to think of it, we still don’t know how he’s making people see dead loved ones. A low-dose of Fizzle Rocks, maybe?

Meanwhile, Jughead’s (Cole Sprouse) declaration that the “original” Gargoyle King — the one who killed Dilton Doiley and Ben Button — has returned means that aspect of the season-long mystery is still in play. Going back to our theory, we’re still convinced this Gargoyle King is the one who killed Principle Featherhead (not Dilton Doiley’s dead dad Darryl) and one of the originators of Gryphons & Gargoyles when it was devised at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. We’re inclined to suggest this Gargoyle King is Edgar Evernever. Additionally, the Gargoyle King’s interest in Jelly Bean (Trinity Likins) suggests the King is not Gladys (Gina Gerhson), who has been on our suspect board since the actor was first cast.

Indeed, the fact the King was spreading a bad batch of Fizzle Rocks — via Kurtz (Jonathan Whitesell) — would seem like a direct attack on Gladys’s plans for the Riverdale drug trade.

This week also featured an extensive Archie (KJ Apa) plot in which he got his rematch and faced down a juiced prizefighter. It is only of note as “boxing star” seems like a good and consistent idea for the character. Sure, it puts him into a whole den of corruption, but pitting Archie’s old-fashioned sense of purity against those centers of inequity also seems to be a consistent thread for the character. We just wish it was more interesting. Maybe the Gargoyle King will remember his Red Paladin and bring Archie back into the main storyline. Then again, the apparent death of Randy Ronson (Darcy Hinds) at Archie’s hands may be the first move in putting the him back on the questline.

So let’s ponder those moves of the board as we watch a preview for next week’s show. The entire Jones family is forced to play G&G while Archie faces the repercussions from the fight.

Riverdale airs Wednesdays on The CW.

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